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The Joys of Toys

Photography by Tom Green

Cuba locomotive

Each winter holiday season, the toys come out at Colonial Williamsburg. Tin toys, squeak toys, cast-iron toys, and wooden toys. Card games, dominoes, paper dolls, dolls, dollhouses, and doll furniture. And more, much more, generally from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Miniature steamboats and sailing ships, marching soldiers and frontier forts, and Noah’s arks with all their lions, tigers, and bears. On annual exhibit at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, they delight youngsters and their parents and their grandparents, and have for decades. Local kindergarten and first-grade classes put the show on their schools’ permanent calendars. Grown-ups return every year, as well. As many as 30,000 people troop through before curators return the selections to the museum’s larger toy collection. The exhibition runs from November 28, 2002, to January 1, 2003.

—J. Hunter Barbour

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